The Citadel

The Archive of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Lore

So Spake Martin

November 2002

More on Hollywood Interest
Submitted By: Lord Walker

I know you are a busy man, especially since your trying to finish your long awaited new book. I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you that I am a huge fan of your work. I am currently about to complete my 2nd re-reading of your A Song of Ice and Fire series, its phenomenal stuff.

Glad you think so.

While I was reading A Storm of Swords last night (Arya has just been captured by the Hound), I had a thought. Since it would almost be impossible to make into a feature length film, A Song of Ice and Fire would be perfect for a HBO series. Each book could be an 8-10 episode season. Since it's on cable you wouldn't lose any of the grittier elements that would be lost if it was to ever be made into a network mini-series. Anyway just an idea, I m sure you ve considered it before, but just in case you hadn t I had to tell you about it.

Well, I'm game if HBO is, but the ball is not really in my court on things like that. All I can do is wait for the producers and studios to come to me. So far, we've had a few nibbles, but nothing serious.

Keep up the great work. I can t wait for A Feast for Crows.

You may have to. I'm still writing it.

Thanks for all the kind words.

Ibben and Armor
Submitted By: Papz

Though Im sure you dont remember me we have corresponded a number of times and Im a great fan of your ASOIAF series. It is truly a modern masterpiece :)


But on to the questions lol Im sorry to bug you man, but gotsta ask! Hope it doesnt interfere with FFC

1)Ibben. Ibben has been a pet interest of mine for some time. I even have an EzBoard with an Ibben Theme. I was wondering when or if we would see Ibben or atleast learn more about them. It truly fascinates me. Does Ibben have a major city? Are they feudal as well? Do they have a king? Armies? What kind of soldiers do they field? Ever been to war with Westeros? And so forth.....

The major city is the Port of Ibben. The Ibbenese are a little far from Westeros to war with them, I think. They do have colonies on the mainland of the eastern continent, but mostly they live on a cold, mountainous, Iceland-sized island (and a couple much smaller ones) in the Shivering Sea. If you consider Westeros to be where the British Isles are in the real world, Ibben would be... oh, about where you might find Finland. But an island. The Shivering Sea has a large whale population, and many of the Ibbenses are whalers. They chew blubber and light the Port of Ibben with whale oil lamps. As to whether the action will ever go there... I don't know. Probably not.

2)Armor. Ive noticed that outside of Westeros and even in Dorne people use bronze armor pretty frequently. I was wondering about the metal working skills of these people. They use iron/steel in weaponry but use highly inferior armor.

The Dornish use a lot of copper, but mainly for ornamental purposes. It's very pretty flashing in the sun. As pretty as gold, but cheaper.

Understandably it is far lighter than platemail or something but It strikes me as a little wierd. An army armored in bronze going against an army in iron will inevitably lose... Sorry to nitpick, so tell me to shut up if Im out of line hehe

Dornish fighting tactics differ from those of the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. Saladin's warriors were pretty lightly armored when they went up against Richard the Lion Hearted and his Crusaders, but still did pretty well.

3)I am under the strong impressoin you openly indicated Dany would be traveliing east to Asshai and the Shadow lands, possibly to invade Westeros from the other side even... Everyone tells me im wrong, it doesnt fit into the time frame etc etc. Did you or did you not want us to get that impressioin by a)introudcing Quaithe b)the whole to go west you must go east under the shadow etc etc prophecy... c)Bran saw dragons in Asshai. Perhaps Danys dragons in the future? I doubt real dragons are in Asshai now or the whole magic leaving the world thing wouldnt have happened....

Sorry, these answers will need to wait for future books.

The Process of Making Valyrian Steel
Submitted By: Magnus Bearclaw

I hope all goes well with you and this finds you in good health. I was just wondering if you could settle something for me in relation to Valyrian steel and I I just wondering if I have taken you up correctly on the matter. I belive I'm right in saying it differs from say Mithril (from LOTR) in that it is not a material which in itself bears advantageous properties but rather ordinary steel which has been subjected to a process (the physical manipulation of the steel combined with spells) which embues it with the desired elements.

Yes, that is correct. You don't mine Valyrian steel (actually, you don't mine any steel), you make it.

What I'm less sure of is whether Valyrian steel ever exists as a raw material.

It does not.

I believe it doesn't but only as a finished blade, what I mean is that it is the actual process of making the sword from run of the mill steel which gives us a Valyrian weapon rather than Valyrian steel being made beforehand and then this product being used to make an item.

The closest real life analog is Damascus steel, but Valyrian steel is a fantasy metal. Which means it has magical characteristics, and magic plays a role in its forging.

Thanks for taking the time from your no doubt over burdened schedule to read this none too clear mail. May I take the opportunity to thank you for the enjoyment you've already given me and say I wait with eager anticipation for A Feast For Crows and The second Dunk & Egg tale.

I'm at work on both. Thanks for your enthusiasm, and your patience.

Barnes & Noble Chat

[Note: The following chat is currently unavailable, but we are seeking permission to repost our transcript.]